Saturday early afternoon we loaded Huck and Ledger - wow they are both so easy to load/unload! and headed down the road.
I'd only been to this fairgrounds once last spring with Kevin for a Ranch Pleasure clinic/demo, which I don't think I posted about.
The show arena is decent sized, the warm-up is small and there is another small warmup arena that wasn't drug.
The show is a pleasure circuit, but this year they added 7 Ranch/Performance classes to the end of the day. I was sad to see, once we arrived that there were patterns posted for the two Ranch Pleasure classes, even though their rule book describes the classes as rail-work only. Thankfully the office people assured me that they were, in fact, rail-only and since this was their first time offering the classes they were still figuring things out. The patterns were tough, too! Both had lead changes and extended lopes!
The western classes were going on when we arrived and I really don't miss all those crystals. To each his own, of course, but I don't miss it. They allowed cross-entry from Western Pleasure to Ranch Pleasure so we didn't know what the mix would be in our classes.
The mix was definitely a mix. There were the two of us, who I would call serious Ranch people, a few reiners that were clearly there just to school, some pleasure-trained horses with work tack and manes growing-out, and some contesting kids.
Note to self: don't go to a horse show without fly spray. Oopsies. Luckily I had Tri-Care so I could get the flies away from his wound and B found some roll-on repellent in the trailer.
I was very nervous and shaking while I tacked up. Huck was fine. He was looky and wasn't holding still, but he wasn't crazy or screaming. We rode in the crappy warm up for a while and I tried to convince him he didn't need to go as fast as possible and maybe should consider relaxing his topline and ignoring the show atmosphere.
We eventually got to a point I felt he was "with" me and we had about 30 minutes before Ranch Conformation would start so we stripped his tack and got ready to show.
We started with Ranch Conformation. Huck was much better behaved than I feared he'd be. He jogged off when I asked and set up pretty well. He did move at one point but he obeyed when I re-maneuvered him back to square.
Places were called and we were 2nd! B and Ledger won the class. Take that pleasure horses! I showed in my vintage buckstitched halter. B has a cool new rope halter that's pretty much the same color as Ledger. I have a new brown rope halter on order so I can be as cool as her. You can see why we call Ledger the Barbie Horse.... And you can purchase his image Here. And as a unicorn here.
These are the only photos we have of us showing. Looks like the photographer didn't stay for the whole Ranch division. :( B and I were both too busy managing our fresh horses to take photos.
There were two trail classes and open reining that B was showing in, so I tied Huck to the trailer and sat where I could see him. I did get up and walk halfway to the trailer at one point but he was fine and I returned to my seat. He didn't stand quietly like a gentleman, but he wasn't pulling or freaking out. I think he was just mad that he was standing on grass but couldn't eat it. The hay just wasn't as awesome. I wanted to see if he could handle being alone at the trailer and yes he can. Yay!
Our first riding class was a Ranch Pleasure Jackpot. Huck did about what I expected. He's not the mover that Kevin was, but we're working on it. He minded my instructions and didn't seem bothered by anything. We ended up 4th of I think 6.
He was better in the class, but we overshot cone C. He stopped much better at D. He picked up his leads well and he we did the reiner thing by moving his hip before asking for the lope. He always backs easily. No one wanted to go first so we volunteered. I feel the judge gives extra points for the one brave enough to go first. ;)
She had us do rail work after the patterns and that went fine. We were called First!!! I can't remember how many were in the class. At least 6. B and Ledger were 2nd.
Last class was another Ranch Pleasure class. Not sure why they have two open Ranch Pleasure classes. The first was Jackpot so it was $2 more to enter and had a higher payback. I could tell Huck was getting tired. The worst part of the class was that there were, I think 12 in the class and I had a hell of a time trying to find a spot on the rail. There were a few in the class who, in my humble opinion, should have been excused. I've been there, trust me, so I get it, but it made it really difficult to show my horse well. I was cutting the corners and short sides of the arena a lot, just trying to keep my cadence while others zoomed around or bucked, or kicked out, or stopped short..... I was happy with how Huck just went where I pointed him and didn't seem at all phased by the commotion. This is good because our rail class at our ranch shows can sometimes be a shit show, too.
We ended up 4th again, and I think B was 2nd.
Since this was our first time at this show, we were thrilled to discover that there were paybacks for each class! I think the show cost me about $3 after getting my payback!
I suppose I can say Huck earned a paycheck, right?
I feel SOOOOOOO much better about going into our show season, now that I know how he is at shows. He's fine. I'm sure he'll be even better when we have more time to adjust before actually showing. I was most worried about the reining, which we didn't get to do, but I think we'll be fine.
I felt really guilty making him show with an injury, but his leg is good now. The swelling is nearly nonexistent and the wound is dry.
He was a little back-sore on Tuesday. I blame him being stalled for 4 days and the shit footing in the warmup. In hindsight I should have gone to the other warmup, but it was full of people standing around. Next time I'll be bossy and tell them to get out of the way.
Huck saw the chiro Tuesday afternoon and got two days off with a little bute and liniment. Hopefully he's less sore today. We have James Cooler back tomorrow-Sunday for a three-day horsemanship retreat. I'm very excited to show him how much better we are at moving hips now!